Zion And Las Vegas
I entered Zion from the east travelling through a mile long tunnel blasted through the rock in the 1930s. I couldnít figure out why the GPS still worked with metres of solid rock on all sides when it refuses to work within normal house walls. The GPS correctly logged progress through the tunnel and showed each bend inside the tunnel.
Posted by ianmoor at May 15, 2010 11:11 PM GMT
The road and all the Zion facilities are in the bottom of Zion Canyon at a very sensible 4000 feet so temperatures were much warmer than at the Grand Canyon rim. Shorts weather through the day and evening made a nice change.
A Sunny Zion National Park, Utah
The bike was coming up to its 24,000 mile service and the only BMW mechanic and spares I could find within a 500 mile radius was in Las Vegas. I have always said that Las Vegas would be about the last place on earth I would want to visit but I booked the service for the first available date in six days time and opted to spend the time leisurely at Zion with its good weather and catch my breath from the hurried pace since leaving Montana.
Steep Zion Canyon Footpath
Itís strange that in the Grand Canyon where you start at the canyon rim there is an urge to climb to the bottom and at Zion where you start at the bottom there is an urge to climb to the rim.
Zion's Virgin River A Long Way Below
Some of the longer Zion walks are exciting. The top section of the walk to Angels Landing is narrow and rocky with a drop on one side and a chain bolted into the rock to provide handholds on the other. After completing the walk I learned that a number of people fell to their deaths in separate incidents on this section last year.
Angels Landing Footpath, Zion
At a high rocky observation point I saw my first rattlesnake. Having walked four miles and gained 2148 feet I had taken my socks and shoes off and was laid out in the sun prior to hiking back down. As I crept forward to try and get a photograph it was unanimously decided among the half dozen of us there that no one was going to volunteer to suck the poison out of a sweaty toe if I was bitten. I got to within 2.5 feet of it but it ran off or whatever the snake equivalent of running off is as I aimed the camera. The snake was apparently more scared than I was but it was a close run thing. There were lots of chipmonks playing on the rocks and it was nice to see them and the rattlesnake living happily side by side.
Chipmonk Risks Life And Limb At Cliff Edge To Escape Tourist
Zion National Park, Utah
As I was packing to leave Zion for Las Vegas I got chatting to a couple familiar with my route and they suggested I turn off the interstate and take a country road which was more interesting. Taking their advice I found myself on a good quiet road, highway 169 heading towards Hoover Dam which I didnít know I was near so decided to make the short detour to the dam.
Hoover Dam On The Arizona / Nevada Border
I was staying at the USAHostel on Fremont Street in Las Vegas. Fremont Street is the original downtown area and boasts a pedestrianised section with the largest casino, the Golden Nugget and more neon than you could imagine. It is two miles away from the newer Ďstripí.
Fremont Street, Las Vegas
I rode down ĎThe Stripí, Las Vegas Boulevard South on the way to the BMW dealership. From the elegantly sophisticated ĎSay I Do Drive Thruí Little White Wedding Chapel which boasts hosting the short lived weddings of many a stylish celebrity to the authentic Luxor Las Vegas complete with pyramid and sphinx via the Statue of Liberty, the Eifel Tower, Treasure Island and a host of other reincarnations it was a sight to behold and my idea of hell on earth.
A Glass Of Beer Several Stories High
Up till now I have had the bike serviced by a BMW mechanic, sometimes as in Las Vegas, by the official dealer & sometimes an independent guy. I think that because it has electronic ignition and fuel injection that they use sophisticated electronic diagnostic equipment during the service. I also have a nagging doubt that they don't and I could do the work myself and save a fortune. Iím carrying the tools and expect to do my own servicing when qualified mechanics are no longer available.
Las Vegas Strip
I have now done 18,000 miles in the USA and Canada since arriving at the end of March 2009.